Chief Learning Officer magazine is a trademark of Mediatec Publishing Inc. All clomedia.com and Chief Learning Officer magazine content Copyright 2013 MediaTec Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved. It is illegal to copy, reproduce or publish any information contained on clomedia.com or in Chief Learning Officer magazine without express written permission from MediaTec Publishing Inc.
Saying Without Speaking
Dore Butler and Florence Geis, researchers at the University of Delaware, compared the nonverbal affect responses to male and female leaders in an audience of peers and found that intellectual assertiveness by women in mixed-sex discussions elicits visible nonverbal cues of negative affect from both men and women. Females taking a leadership role in the group received fewer pleased responses and more displeased body language responses from fellow group members than male leaders speaking up and offering the same input.
“What happens to emerging leadership female candidates is that they don’t get recognized by the peer group because of this nonverbal contagion that goes around the group,” Goman said. “Women were not even seen as being as developmental as the males in the group in the University of Delaware study. If by any chance there is a leader in that group, such as a boss, manager or a team leader, what would happen unconsciously is that the rest of the group would take a lot of its cues from that leader, whether that were the leader’s intention or not. That can severely hurt the growth of women as leaders if the body language of senior men is projecting negative emotions.”
Learning to control body language is essential for managers to be perceived as credible and forthright by peers and their employees. If leaders’ body language doesn’t match their words, they’re wasting much of their time. “If you really want to build collaboration, you need to realize that your body has to say the same thing,” Goman said. “You have to face people directly; you have to look at them; you have to lean forward slightly; you have to nod; all those subtle signals are essential in order to get that person to respond and open up to you. That’s how you build relationships nonverbally.”
Leveraging the Latest in Brain Science to Deliver the Next Generation of E-Learning
May 29th 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
Get the Magazine